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Certain Facts You Must Know Before Becoming a Landlord

Aug 17, 2007
Becoming a landlord is an extremely good way to make extra cash. However it all depends on the right research and planning by you. If you do not play your cards right, you could end up losing money.

First of all you have to ensure that rentals are allowed by your area's homeowners association. If there is an option where you can rent out your property then you must set up a rent price. Newspaper classified ads are a good place to get an idea for the rent you should ask for. There are certain questions you might want to answer to determine the rental rate. You should see if the rent that you are going to ask for covers the cost of running and maintaining the house and after paying this, a profitable amount is left for your own disposal.

One thing has to be kept in mind; local laws may hinder rent increases and rent amounts hence you should check with the consumer affairs or housing services of your state. This should be done before you make the final decision to rent your property out.

It is a good idea to join a landlord association to help you stay abreast with latest landlord tenant issues. Becoming a member of an association will help you to interact with other landlords and understand state specific rental or lease agreements. These agreements have to uphold the state law. Features such as a rent increase or forms that deal with eviction etc vary according to policies unique to each state.

One thing you must know before becoming a landlord is that tenants have no rights to trash your property. However, as long as the tenants are paying the rent they can enjoy all the rights of ownership. But the right to sell the property is excluded from this clause.

Landlords must ensure that the property is in a condition that is habitable and that has working locks on the windows and doors, a roof that does not leak and adjustable thermostats. You must check the laws of your state regarding the maintenance and repair responsibilities of the landlord.

Another thing that you must know before becoming a landlord is that the Fair Housing Act of US Department of Housing and Urban Development prohibits any discrimination of tenants according to religion, color, race, national origin, familial status, sex, disability or handicap.

It is imperative that you do not rush through the entire process of tenant selection. You should see that you have compiled a set of standards or criteria to choose a good tenant. All applicants that you might want to consider should adhere to these standards.

These standards should include rules for the rent price, number of occupants, security deposits, pets, minimum income requirements, who pays utilities etc. Economically disadvantaged people are given vouchers or certificates by the housing authority. This guarantees that a portion of the rent will be paid by the government.

Carrying out the duties of a landlord will be easier if you understand the guidelines mentioned above.
About the Author
James Klobasa, once broke with no job and $20,000 in debt made a choice that changed his life forever. That choice was investing in Real Estate. With the founder of, The Little Building Co. you too, can learn at Real-Real Estate Investing
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